Do you know your worth?
Thinking back to growing up in Nigeria, I was surrounded by a lot of strong women who worked hard to provide for their families. I learned the importance of working hard and not limiting yourself. However, a key lesson I didn't learn from them was knowing my worth, growing my worth and communicating my worth. It was never considered a good thing to talk about your strengths or about your worth. It was perceived as being boastful or prideful. As I have advanced in my life journey, I have learned that if you don't know your worth, you limit what you can achieve in life.
Let's look at some definitions of worth and value:
Worth: "The level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated." (Source: Oxford dictionary) or “the importance or usefulness of something or someone" (Source: Cambridge dictionary)
Value: "that quality of a thing according to which it is thought of as being more or less desirable, useful, estimable, important, etc.; worth or the degree of worth" or "that which is desirable or worthy of esteem for its own sake; thing or quality having intrinsic worth" (Source: Collin's dictionary).
I personally prefer the German word "Wert" as it covers both worth and value.
Wert: einer Sache innewohnende Qualität, aufgrund deren sie in einem gewissen Maße begehrenswert ist (Source: Duden) The direct translation will be: " A thing of internal quality, that makes it measurably desirable"
Value, worth implies intrinsic excellence or desirability
It's key to understand that your value comes from within. It's something you alone have control over. Don't allow or wait for any external forces to define your worth. Growing up, people had a lot to say about me and who they thought I was. I had to learn to search internally and be in tune with myself. I started believing that everything I had contributed to my worth. My ability to talk to strangers was seen by most of the people around me as me being a talkative/disturbing child. Today I know that I have a gift of communication which is a large part of who I am.
Know who you are - know your worth
You are on this earth for a purpose and have a lot to contribute. You are unique, and you are the only one who can fulfil your purpose. Your feeling of worth needs to come from within. Don't wait for people on the outside to tell you your worth. Soul search and document what you bring to the table. Remember that no one knows you as much as you know yourself.
Be vocal about your worth/value
In the last five years, I have been on a journey of being more vocal about my value. Especially in my professional life, I found it very hard to articulate my worth or even ask for what I know I'm worth. A while ago I watched a TEDx Talk titled "Know your worth, and then ask for it" by Casey Brown which helped improve in this area. It's ok to know your worth and tell people about it. Seriously if I could give my younger self some advice, I would say "Talk about your value. No one else will do it for you". Start practicing - Speak of your worth
There is a $ tag on your value/worth
I understand that sometimes it's hard to put a monetary value to your worth. In a professional setting your worth typically has a monetary value. How much are people willing to pay you to add value to the company. Every time I hear conversations around equal pay, I feel that the conversation we should be having is around knowing what you're worth and requesting it. I'm on the discovery journey myself.
You are not defined by your relationship marital status or being a mother
This is a topic I am very passionate about. There are many ladies out there who see their worth only in being someone's wife or a mother. See yourself as a woman with a lot of worth outside her marital status. It saddens me to see young women who don't think they are worth a lot because they are not married or have kids. I would like to say to you- You are worth a lot as YOU. All others status changes are beautiful additions but not your core worth.
Increase your value
On your journey, you want to ensure that you grow your value bank. It will take work and you investing in yourself. Think about growing your portfolio - it is an intentional and active exercise. I increase my value bank by honing my craft, learning new skills, taking courses, learning and practicing new things.